New York City bartenders have been leading the country when it comes to going beyond both tequila and mezcal. Most notable is the rise of sotol, a spirit distilled from the Dasylirion wheeleri succulent (which isn’t technically an agave, but is a close relative). Other agave spirits taking root in New York bars include bacanora and raicilla.
Below are suggestions for some of the most interesting margarita alternatives worth seeking out in New York.
Plan an agave-soaked celebration without a single drop of tequila
(Originally published on UpOut SF May 2, 2017. I’ve previously shared bonus information and additional recommendations right this way.)
Did you know that San Francisco is instrumental in defending agave sustainability so future generations can enjoy the plentiful agave beverages we enjoy today? For a city whose drinking history is soaked in pisco, whiskey, and beer, San Francisco certainly claims above-average agave expertise.
If you’re interested in breaking tequila traditions without sacrificing agave indulgence, our list honors cocktails made with mezcal, sotol, bacanora, and raicilla.
(Caveat: While it’s true that a 1990s botanical reclassification means sotol is not technically a mezcal or made from agave, it’s a rare bartender who would belabor that point with you.)
Wildhawk :: Chi Wa Wa
3464 19th Street
Go for the Coco Puff-infused Breakfast Negroni decorated with orange peel stars and birds; stay for the Chi Wa Wa cocktail with Por Siempre sotol, La Gitana Manzanilla sherry, Plantation Pineapple Rum, lemon, honey, and housemade “spicy monk mix.”
In the mood for a sotol taste test showdown? El Jolgorio Sotol is on the spirits list.